Republicans are telling us it's likely Marco Rubio will lose his high profile speaking slot Thursday, so that the Romney campaign can ensure Ann Romney gets prime time network coverage. Nothing has been announced yet, but Republicans are buzzing about Rubio getting moved to a lower-profile spot on Tuesday. Mrs. Romney had been scheduled to speak Monday night, but none of the networks are covering Monday night.
It only makes sense the campaign would want to highlight the appealing Mrs. Romney to as broad an audience as possible, but you can count on some ticked off people in Florida and perhaps elsewhere if the country's highest profile Hispanic Republican gets shifted to a second tier speaking slot. Spanish radio stations in Miami have been hailing Rubio's convention appearance for days.
If Rubio does get bumped, it would be on the heels of the Republicans adopting a platform embracing hard line immigration positions, including encouraging more laws like Arizona's. Cuban-Americans in south Florida have already taken note that only a few years ago Paul Ryan wanted to open up trade with Cuba. You can predict the Democratic talking points about Romney-Ryan writing off the Hispanic vote.
And you can bet a lot of Florida Republicans will, once again, be quietly cursing Romney consultants, Stu Stevens and Russ Schrieffer, who used to work for former Republican Charlie Crist against Rubio. When someone on the campaign told a reporter Rubio was not being vetted earlier this year, many assumed that came from Stevens or Schrieffer. Then Rubio was passed over for the keynote speech in favor of Schrieffer client Chris Christie.
-- Adam Smith